Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Travel Tuesday: The Best Gardens in Kyoto

A while ago I wrote a guest post for Claire who blogs over at Somewhere Beyond The Sea. In case you don't follow her blog (which you should do!) and therefore didn't see the post, I thought I would share it with you today. You can view the original post here. Japanese gardens are really beautiful and each one so unique. They are peaceful and walking around admiring the beauty is a great way to relax. Here are my five favourite Japanese gardens in Kyoto.

1. Shosei-en garden
I went to this garden just a few days before leaving Japan. It is only a 7 minute walk from Kyoto Station and yet when I went it was practically empty. Unfortunately there are some high rise buildings surrounding the garden but I liked the view of the empty, green garden with Kyoto Tower in the background.

2. Tofuki-ji temple
Temples in Japan have really beautiful gardens, some are small but the one at Tofuku-ji is pretty big. I went in autumn when all the leaves were amazing jewel colours. As it is one of the most famous places in Kyoto for autumn leaves there were hordes of Japanese tourists which I wrote more about in this post, however it was definitely worth it.

3. Aizu Governor’s Temple
Aizu was a samurai clan from Tohoku who were called to Kyoto to protect the Emperor (ironically they ended up fighting against the Emperor.) Anyway this was the temple where the Aizu Governor lived while Kyoto. The temple itself is very interesting and the garden is very traditional in its style with perfectly manicured lawns, bonsai and a teahouse.

4. Murin-an villa
This place is the definition of a hidden gem. Tucked away in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto near Nanzen-ji temple it has the added bonus of the Higashiyama hills in the background. Compared to other Japanese gardens this place has a slightly more western feel, with an open lawn scattered with wild flowers.

5. Shinsen-en garden
This is a very small garden but it is near Nijo castle so if you are in the area it is worth coming. Stand on the bright orange bridge and watch all the fish swimming around then walk up to the dragon boat. Out of all the gardens I have talked about this is the only one which is free.

Which of these gardens would you like to visit?
Linking up the Let's be Friends linkup


  1. tofuki-ji temple gardens would be my top pick - i mean, look at those colours! i am dying to visit Kyoto properly. one day. x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

    1. Tofuku-ji temple was so amazing! I couldn't believe how many different coloured trees there were, Japan in autumn is so beautiful! x